Lesotho crisis: SADC 'has done what is can', says Tom Thabane

2017-02-11 14:30
Tom Thabane (Alexander Joe, AFP)

Tom Thabane (Alexander Joe, AFP)

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Cape Town – Lesotho's ex-prime minister Tom Thabane says he welcomes the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) continued intervention in his country's ongoing political crisis.

Lesotho plunged into political calamity following the 2014 failed coup attempt by an army general.

Thabane briefly went into exile in South Africa, but was soon back in the mountainous kingdom. 

He, however, lost a crunch election in 2015, a development that again forced into exile, as he claimed that his life was at risk.

Thabane, together with two other opposition leaders, the Basotho National Party leader Thesele Maseribane and Reformed Congress of Lesotho leader Keketso Rantso fled in May 2015, saying that they feared for their lives.

In an interview with News24, Thabane said his country remained a loyal member of the SADC, adding that the mountainous kingdom valued the regional body.

'We cannot speak on their behalf'

"SADC has done what it could in intervening in our country's crisis. We had asked them to deploy regional troops in the country to deal with the political crisis which was caused by some within the ruling government. However, they refused to do so. But even so, we remain committed to finding solutions," said Thabane.  

Thabane, together with the other opposition leaders were expected back in Lesotho on Sunday.

He was  expected to address his supporters at a rally in the capital Maseru soon after his arrival.

Meanwhile, the Lesotho Council of NGOs' executive director Seabata Motsamai told News24 that the country was still "deeply grappling with divisions" as pockets of instability remained. 

He said that the regional body's oversight committee could have possible found some contentious issues during their recent visit in the country.

"We cannot speak on their behalf. But, we can say that indeed they have visited the country. They are certain pockets of instability in the country. We therefore have to address these issues diligently. There is a lot of polarisation inside our national assembly, thus we need to work together in finding lasting solutions," said Motsamai. 

Read more on:    sadc  |  tom thabane  |  lesotho  |  southern africa

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